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his position overnight at a window which of these sturdy beggars, there was a commanded the orchard. Towards great deal of devotion and austerity morning he espied a dark figure in the within the cell, when there rose up a tree; but, just as he made sure of witness who could not be contradicted, catching the scoundrel, he was obliged proclaiming, in a voice which was heard to sneeze, and at the explosion the thief in all lands alike by princes and people, dropped from the bough, and with that, offensive as was the outside of the admirable presence of mind limped off, sepulchre, it was clean compared with imitating to the life the hobble of the the interior. only lame brother in the convent. As Erasmus had no reason to love the soon as the monks were assembled for institution. By working on the religious morning prayers, the prior enlarged on feelings of his grandparents and the the dreadful sin which had been com- avarice of their older sons, it had premitted, and then in a voice of thunder vented his father from consummating denounced the lame friar as the sacri. in lawful wedlock an honourable attachlegious villain who had stolen the pears. ment, and so had brought on his own The poor monk was petrified. Protes birth a reproach with which the real tations of innocence and proofs of an authors of the wrong were the first to alibi were unavailing ; the prior with stigmatize him. And it had gone far to his own eyes had seen him in the fact, frustrate his own existence. Years which and we doubt if the real delinquent should have been given to letters and came forward to discharge the penance. to religion it had doomed to dull routine
Erasmus had spent five years in the and meaningless observance ; nor was convent when Henri de Bergues, the it unnatural that he should resent on the Bishop of Cambray, invited him to be system the craft and chicanery which come his secretary. The bishop was had cozened him out of his liberty, and aspiring to a cardinal's hat; and, having which, in lieu of the philosopher's cloak, resolved on a journey to Rome in order had left him in a fool's cap and motley. to secure it, he wisely judged that the It can therefore occasion no wonder that accomplished Latinist, whose fame had in subsequent years he let slip no opporalready come to France, would mate- tunity for showing up the ignorance and rially subserve his purposes. On the heartlessness of the regular clergy. If other hand, Erasmus was transported at in one aspect Luther's life was one long the prospect of exchanging the society war with the devil, the literary career of of boorish monks for the refinement and Erasmus was a continued crusade against scholarship which he expected to find at monkery; and it is almost amusing to the head-quarters of the Church and in notice how, whether it be any mishap the metropolis of Italy; and, as both Prior which has befallen himself, or any evil Werner and the Bishop of Utrecht gave which threatens the universe,-if it be their consent, somewhere about the year a book of his own which is anonymously 1492 Erasmus took his joyful departure abused, or the peace of a family which from Steene, and returned no more. is invaded, or a town or kingdom which
In its treatment of Erasmus, monasti- is hopelessly embroiled-he is sure to cism prepared its own Nemesis. The suspect a friar as the source of the missystem was become a scandal to Europe. chief; and, as we read page after page The greed of the friars, their indolence, of his epistles, we cannot help forming their hypocrisy, their gluttony and gross- the conclusion that, "going to and fro ness, had been for ages proverbial, and on the face of the earth,” the ubiquitous it was only with the sulky toleration monk was to all intents our author's of inevitable evil that their swarming devil. legions were endured. Still it was be The years during which they kept him lieved that celibacy was a holy state, and imprisoned at Steene supplied the mateit was hoped that, by way of balance to rials for thoroughly exposing the system, the rough exactions and tavern brawls He was then filling his portfolio with
the sketches which afterwards came out in the faithful but unbeautiful portraits of the Enchiridion and in the caricatures of the Colloquies ; and by the time that he had become the most popular writer of all his contemporaries the effect was prodigious. Whether in one of his pithy sentences he spoke of “purgatory 5 as the fire which they so dearly love, “ for it keeps their kettle boiling," l or sketched them at full length as the universal usurpers who appropriated the functions of prince, pastor, and bishop, so that they must have a hand in every national treaty and every matrimonial engagement—so that they constituted themselves the guardians of orthodoxy, pronouncing “such a one is a real Chris“tian, but such another is a heretic, and “he again is a heretic and a half- ses“ qui-hæreticus'"--worming out of the citizens their most secret thoughts and most private affairs, and making themselves so essential that, if either king or pope has any dirty work to do, he must use their unscrupulous agency-a set of busybodies at once venomous and unproductive, who, like drones furnished with hornet stings, could not be driven Irom the hive, but must be at once detested and endured,—every one recognised the correctness of the picture; and, with accurate instinct, far more fiercely
i Opp. iii. 1106.
than against Luther, with his defiance of the Pope, and his Gospel for the people, did the friars rage against Erasmus and his antimonastic satires. And, just as in his morning promenade under the hedgerow, a persecuted cat is followed by a cloud of titmice and sparrows, twittering out their terror, and warning all the woodland, so it is ludicrous to notice the swarm of agitated cowls which eventually futtered after Erasmus in his progress through Europe, shrieking forth their execrations, and in every stealthy movement boding new mischief to the mendicants. To pull down the columns which supported the papacy needed the passionate strength and self-devotement of Luther; but the wooden pillar on which monkery was perched, already rotten and worm-eaten, quickly yielded to the incisors of the formidable rodent who had somehow got in ;1 and, when at last the crazy structure came down, and the “happy family” was scattered in England and Germany, it was not without a touch of compunction that the author of their overthrow witnessed the dismay of their dispersion, and the hardships which some of them endured.
i The name of Erasmus was an irresistible temptation to punning: witness the following epigram of Stephen Paschasius .“ Hic jacet Erasmus, qui quondam bonus erat
EXTRACTS FROM LADY DUFF-GORDON'S LETTERS FROM EGYPT. consists of huge solid blocks of stone. villagers treated Mustafa, and which he One man crushed his thumb, and I had fully returned, made it all seem so very to operate on it. It is extraordinary gentlemanlike. They are not so dazzled how these people bear pain; he never by a little show, and far more manly winced in the least, and went off thank- than the Cairenes. I am already on ing God and the lady quite cheerfully visiting terms with all the “county
Now I am settled in my Theban palace it seems more beautiful, and I am quite melancholy that you cannot be here to enjoy it. The house is very large, and has good thick walls, the comfort of which we feel to-day, for it blows a hurricane, but indoors it is not at all cold. I have glass windows and doors to some of the rooms; it is a lovely dwelling. Two funny little owls, as big as my fist, live in the wall under my window, and come and peep in,
walking on tiptoe and looking inquisitive, like the owls in the hieroglyphics; and a splendid horus (the sacred hawk) frequents my lofty balcony. Another of my contemplar gods I sacrilegiously killed last night-a whip-snake. Omar is rather in consternation, for fear it should be “the snake of the house,". for Islam has not dethroned the “Dü Lares et tutelares.”
Some men came to mend the staircase, which had fallen in, and which
I have been working hard at the “Alif families” resident in Luxor. The Nazir Bay"-A BC-to day, under the direc- (magistrate) is a very nice person, and tion of Sheykh Yussuf, a graceful, sweet my Sheykh Yussuf, who is of the highest looking young man, with a dark-brown blood (being descended from Abul Hajjaj face, and such fine manners, in his fel- himself), is quite charming. There is lah dress—a coarse brown woollen shirt, an intelligent German here as Austrian a libdeh or felt skull-cap, and a common consul, who draws well. I went into red shawl round his head and shoulders. his house, and was startled by hearing Writing the wrong way is very hard a pretty little Arab boy, his servant, work. It was curious to see Sheykh . say, “ Soll ich den Kaffee bringen?” Yussuf's blush from shyness when he What next? They are all mad to learn came in first; it shows quite as much languages, and Mustafa begs me to teach in the coffee-brown Arab skin as in his little child Zehneb, English. the fairest European-quite unlike the Friday, January 22d.-Yesterday, I much lighter-coloured mulatto or Malay, rode over to Karnac, with Mustafa’s Sais who never change colour at all.
running by my side; glorious hot sun Wednesday, January 20th, 1864. — and delicious air. To hear the Sais We have had a week of piercing winds, chatter away, his tongue running as fast but yesterday was fine again, and I as his feet, made me deeply envious of mounted old Mustafa's cob pony, and his lungs. Mustafa joined me, and jogged over his farm with him, and pressed me to go to visit the sheykh's lunched on delicious sour cream and tomb for the benefit of my health, as fateereh at a neighbouring village, to he and Sheykh Yussuf wished to say a the great delight of the Fellah. The Fathah for me; but I must not drink wine scene was more biblical than ever; the at dinner. I made a little difficulty on the people were all relations of Mustafa's, score of difference of religion, but Sheykh and to see Sidi Omar, the head of the Yussuf, who came up, said he presumed household, and the young men "coming I worshipped God and not stones, and in from the field, and the flocks and that sincere prayers were good anywhere. herds and camels and asses," was like a Clearly the bigotry would have been on beautiful dream. All these people are my side if I had refused any longer; so of high blood, and a sort of “roll of in the evening I went with Mustafa battle” is kept here for the genealogies It was a very curious sight : the little of the noble Arabs, who came in with dome illuminated with as much oil as Amr, the first Arab conqueror and the mosque could afford, and beneath lieutenant of Omar. Not one of these it the tombs of Abul Hajjaj and his brown men, who do not own a second three sons; a magnificent old man, shirt, would give his brown daughter like Father Abraham himself, dressed to the greatest Turkish Pasha. This in white, sat on a carpet at the foot country noblesse is more interesting to of the tomb; he was the head of the me by far than the town people, though family of Abul Hajjaj. He made me Omar, who is quite a cockney, and sit by him, and was extremely polite. piques himself on being “ delicate," Then came the Nazir, the Cadi, a Turk turns up his nose at their beggarly pride, travelling on Government business, and as Londoners used to do at bare-legged a few other gentlemen, who all sat Highlanders. The air of perfect equality down round us, after kissing the hand (except as to the respect due to the of the old sheykh. Every one talked ; head of the clan) with which the in fact, it was a soirée for the entertain
ment of the dead sheykh. A party little den with bare mud walls, worse of men sat at the further end of the off, to our ideas, than any pauper ; but place, with their faces to the kibleh, these people do not feel the want of and played on a taraboukeh (sort of comforts, and one learns to think it quite small drum stretched on earthonware, natural to sit with perfect gentlemen in which gives a peculiar sound), a tam places inferior to our cattle sheds. I bourine without bells, and little tinkling pulled some blankets up against the cymbals, fitting on thumb and finger wall, and put my arm behind Sheykh (crotales), and chanted songs in honour Mohammed's back, to make him rest of Mohammed, and verses from the while the poultices were on him; wherePsalms of David. Every now and then, upon he laid his green turban on my one of our party left off talking, and shoulder, and presently held up his prayed a little, or counted his beads. delicate brown face for a kiss, like an The old sheykh sent for coffee and gave affectionate child. As I kissed him, & me the first cup—a wonderful conces- very pious old moollah said Bismillah! sion ; at last the Nazir proposed a Fathah “In the name of God!" with an apfor me, which the whole group round proving nod; and Sheykh Mohammed's me repeated aloud, and then each said father (a splendid old man in a green to me :-“Our Lord God bless thee, and turban) thanked me with "effusion," “give thee health and peace, to thee and and prayed that my children might 6 thy family, and take theo back to thy always find help and kindness. This “ master and thy children;" every one shows how much truth there is in " Musadding “Ameen," and giving the salaam sulman bigotry, unconquerable hatred," with the hand. I returned it, and said, etc. ; for this family are Seyyids (de“Our Lord reward thee and all the peo- scendants of the Prophet), and very pious. “ple for kindness to strangers," which Monday.--I have just heard that poor was considered a very proper answer. Sheykh Mohammed died yesterday, and
After that we went away, and the was, as usual, buried at once. I had not worthy Nazir walked home with me to been well for a few days, and Sheykh take a pipe and a glass of sherbet, and Yussuf took care that I should not know enjoy a talk about his wife and eight of his brother's death. He went to Muschildren, who are all in Foom-el-Bachr; tapha Aga, and told him not to tell any except two boys at school at Cairo. In one of my house till I was better, beCairo or Lower Egypt, it would be quite cause he knew “what was in mystomach" impossible for a Christian to enter a towards them, and feared I should be sheykh's tomb at all ;-above all, at his made worse by the news. And how birthday festival, and on the night of often I have been advised not to meddle Friday.
with sick Arabs, because they are sure Saturday.—My poor Sheykh Yussuf to suspect a Christian of poisoning those is in great distress about his brother, who die! I do grieve for the graceful also a young sheykh (i.e. one learned handsome young creature and his old in theology, and competent to preach father. Omar was vexed at not knowing in the mosque). Sheykh Mohammed is of his death, because he would have liked come home from studying in El-Azhar to help to carry him to the grave. at Cairo,--I fear, to die. I went with Friday, January 29th.-The last week Sheykh Yussuf, at his desire, to see has been very cold here, the thermometer if I could help him, and found him 59° and 60°, with a nipping wind and gasping for breath, and very, very ill; bright sun. I was obliged to keep my I gave him a little soothing medicine, bed for three or four days, as a palace and put mustard plasters on him, and, without doors or windows to speak of as they relieved him, I went again was very trying, though far better than a and repeated them. All the family boat. Yesterday and to-day are betterand a number of neighbours crowded in not much warmer, but a different air. to look on. There he lay in a dark The Moolid (festival) of the sheykh terminated last Saturday with a pro- opposite, and think, if only you and the cession, in which the new cover of his children were here, it would be “the best tomb, and the ancient sacred boat, were o' life.” The beauty of Egypt grows carried on men's shoulders; it all seemed on one, and I think it far more lovely to have walked out of royal tombs, only this year than I did last. dusty and shabby, instead of gorgeous. My great friend the Maõhn (he is not These festivals of the dead are such as the Nazir, who is a fat little pig-eyed jolly Herodotus alludes to as held in honour Turk) lives in a house which also has a of “Him whose name he dares not superb view in another direction, and I mention, Him who sleeps in Philæ ;" often go and sit “on the bench," i.e. the only the name is changed, and the mustabah in front of his house, and do mummy is absent. For a fortnight every what little talk I can, and see the one who had a horse and could ride, people come with their grievances. I came and made fantasia" every after- don't understand much of what goes on, noon for two hours before sunset, and as the patois is broad, and doubles the very pretty it was. The people here difficulty, or I would send you a Theban show their good blood in their riding police-report ; but the Maõhn is very For the last three days, all strangers pleasant in his manner to them, and were entertained with bread and cooked they don't seem frightened. We have meat, at the expense of the Luxor people. appointed a very small boy our Bowab Every house killed a sheep and baked or porter, or rather he has appointed bread. As I could not do that for want himself, and his assumption of dignity of servants enough, I sent a hundred is quite delicious; he has provided himpiastres (about twelve shillings) to the self with a huge staff, and he behaves servants of Abul Hajjaj at the mosque, like the most tremendous janissary. to pay for the oil burnt at the tomb, &c. He is about the size of a child of five, I was not well, and in bed, but I hear as sharp as a needle, and possesses the that my gift gave immense satisfaction, remains of a brown shirt, and a ragged and that I was again well prayed for. kitchen duster as turban. I am very
The Coptic bishop came to see me, but fond of little Achmet, and like to see he was a tipsy old monk. He sent for him doing tableaux vivants after Murillo, tea, complaining that he was ill; so I with a plate of broken victuals. went to see him, and perceived that his The children of this place have become disorder was too much arrakee. He has so insufferable about backsheesh, that I a very nice black slave, a Christian have complained to the Maõhn, and he (Abyssinian, I think), who is a friend will assemble a committee of parents and of Omar's, and who sent Omar a hand- enforce better manners. It is only here, some dinner, all ready cooked ; among and just where the English go. When other things, a chicken stuffed with green I ride into the little villages, I never wheat was excellent.
hear the word, but am always offered February 12th, 1864.-We are in milk to drink; I have taken it two or Ramadan now, and Omar really enjoys three times and not offered to pay, and a good opportunity of“ making his soul.” 'the people always seemed quite pleased. He fasts and washes vigorously, and Yesterday, Sheykh Yussuf came again, prays his five times a day, and goes to the first time since his brother's death ; mosque on Fridays, and is quite merry he was evidently deeply affected, but over it, and ready to cook infidels' spoke in the usual way, “It is the will dinners with exemplary good humour. It of God, we must all die.” I wish you is a great merit in Muslims that they are could see Sheykh Yussuf; I think he not at all grumpy over their piety. is the sweetest creature in look and
The weather has set in since five or manner I ever beheld, so refined and so six days like Paradise ; I sit on my lofty simple, and with the animal grace of a balcony and drink in the sweet northerly gazelle. A high-bred Arab is as graceful breeze, and look at the glorious mountain as an Indian, but quite without the